Death in the Clouds by Unknown

Death in the Clouds by Unknown

Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2010-06-27T07:57:21.407000+00:00

"Would you divorce her if you had the chance?"

"If I had cause I certainly would." He spoke grimly.

"I suppose," said Venetia thoughtfully, "she knows that."


They were both silent. Venetia thought: "She has the morals of a cat! I know that well enough. But she's careful. She's shrewd as they make 'em." Aloud she said: "So there's nothing doing?"

He shook his head. Then he said:

"If I were free, Venetia, would you marry me?"

Looking very straight between her horse's ears, Venetia said in a voice carefully devoid of emotion:

"I suppose I would."

Stephen! She'd always loved Stephen - always since the old days of dancing classes and cubbing and bird's nesting. And Stephen had been fond of her, but not fond enough to prevent him from falling desperately, wildly, madly in love with a clever calculating cat of a chorus girl.

Stephen said, "We could have a marvelous life together."

Pictures floated before his eyes - hunting, tea and muffins, the smell of wet earth and leaves, children. All the things that Cicely could never share with him, that Cicely would never give him. A kind of mist came over his eyes. Then he heard Venetia speaking, still in that flat, emotionless voice:

"Stephen, if you care, what about it? If we went off together. Cicely would have to divorce you."

He interrupted her fiercely:

"Do you think I'd let you do a thing like that?"

"I shouldn't care."

"I should."

He spoke with finality.

Venetia thought. "That's that. It's a pity, really. He's hopelessly prejudiced, but rather a dear. I wouldn't like him to be different."

Aloud she said: "Well, Stephen, I'll be getting along."

She touched her horse gently with her heel. As she turned to wave a good-by to Stephen, their eyes met, and in that glance was all the feeling that their careful words had avoided.

As she rounded the corner of the lane, Venetia dropped her whip. A man walking picked it up and returned it to her with an exaggerated bow.

"A foreigner," she thought as she thanked him. "I seem to remember his face." Half of her mind searched through the summer days at Juan les Pins while the other half thought of Stephen.

Only just as she reached home did memory suddenly pull her half-dreaming brain up with a jerk:

"The little man who gave me his seat in the aeroplane. They said at the inquest he was a detective."

And hard on that came another thought:

"What is he doing down here?"

Chapter 13

Jane presented herself at Antoine's on the morning after the inquest with some trepidation of spirit.

The person who was usually regarded as M. Antoine himself, and whose real name was Andrew Leech, greeted her with an ominous frown.

It was by now second nature to him to speak in broken English once within the portals of Bruton Street.

He upbraided Jane as a complete imbecile. Why did she wish to travel by air, anyway? What an idea! Her escapade would do his establishment infinite harm. Having vented his spleen to the full, Jane was permitted to escape, receiving as she did so a large-sized wink from her friend, Gladys.


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